15 comments on “Give Brazil a break.

  1. A quick Wikipedia consultation will also tell you that the Associated Press and the Press Association are not the same thing. Might want to double-check that sort of thing before you publicly slam a news organization.

  2. What’s the probability that the journalist who made the mistake is called Alex? I’m going with “quite likely”… 🙂

  3. When I was working in Brazil as a journalist, I was always told to include a paragraph about the World Cup/Olympics. I used to joke that I should just have had the same sentence and copied and pasted it. I thought this wouldn’t be the case when I wrote about subjects which appeared totally unrelated, such as Brazilian cuisine, but was asked to put it in. The thing I quickly realised as I struggled to make a living out there was that the public are steadily less interested in foreign news, and always need to be given a context, a reference, to remember why that location is relevant or interesting. At times, it seems very lazy (in this case, perhaps an editor mentioned it and the reporter didn’t check whether this stadium was actually being used in 2014, but then neither did the editors on these other news outlets as you have pointed out). However, people are always saying what the news “should” report and then behaving in a totally different way as consumers themselves. I dearly wish people were more interested and informed than they are about world affairs, but in this age of the internet where the number of hits is measurable, it becomes sadly clear folks are often more interested in the Kardashian baby bump than the situation in Kashmir.

    Another issue, for context, is that news outlets worldwide are gradually cutting the number of foreign correspondents they have. That means they rely on (frequently excellent) agency copy, or sending reporters out who don’t know the place they are flying to when an incident happens. The expertise of people who may have lived in a location for years or all of their lives is being lost. That means more mistakes are inevitably made, and just as bad, a huge amount of news just going unreported. The industry is in a bit of a crisis as we move to the internet model. Of course, blogs like this are another (excellent) source of info and debate!

    • I’ve no doubt it was probably a genuine error (caused by some of the points you made) but it just feeds into this anti-Brazil narrative. The journalist clearly just assumed that this stadium is a World Cup one because: a) It is new, and; b) in Brazil. There’s no information elsewhere to suggest it is though.

      Apparently, PA reports are typically used by other agencies without anyone checking it, hence why the Guardian, etc put it out.

      With regards to your comment about the general apathy in news I’m 100% with you!

  4. I was thinking it would have been interesting if any of the major news outlets you are asking to update or redact their story to have responded within an HOUR of you writing them. I am guessing your correction doesn’t fall under “hot off the presses” material and gets ignored likely because no lawsuit could be pending.

    • Sure, I wasn’t expecting it to be corrected immediately because of my objection to it – let’s face it, why are they going to be bothered by me? I just made the point contextualise when I was writing the post.

      PS. All articles remain up as they were.

  5. I’m glad you’re trying to point the mistake and make things right, Andy, as your status as an englishmen living in Brasil could make some noise. But unfortanately the british media are taking an incredible agressive aproach against anything envolving Brasil, and not only on the sports news. I think you saw Financial Times ranting against our president and Secretary of Treasure (our so-called Ministro da Fazenda), even using a cartoon with ofensive content, and after Santa Maria’s tragedy theypublished a headline calling all brazilians idiots. The Economist is also doing a lot of this, and all the noise against Neymar and our football last week too was very over the line. The theory among brazilian progressists is that the fact of brazilian PIB surpassing Great Britain’s last year in the middle of the depression was a huge blown, and the media went nuts against us since that. Any news regarding safety and stadium conditions for the World Cup will be well acepted, the problem is when news media outlets use lies and misinformation to make a point against a country wich they consider “inferior”, something that’s very offensive to us brazilians.

    • I’m not sure how much the Brazilian economy moving above the UK changed things (Brazil is now back below the UK apparently). However, Brazil’s emergence means that it’s naturally going to get more scrutiny and I don’t necessarily think that’s a problem, as long as the criticism is fair – and some of it wasn’t (as you mention).

      With regards to Neymar I think the problem is that there is so much hype around him that people wonder what the fuss is about when he keeps failing to deliver when he plays outside of Brazil. I don’t agree with that, but I don’t think it will change until he moves unfortunately.

      The media making a big thing of each and every problem in Brazil, and then relating it to the World Cup, is sadly very predictable. The media did it before South Africa and they did it before Poland / Ukraine last summer. I think it comes from the fact that we think we deserve to have the World Cup in England, so the media will try to be as negative as possible when the tournament is held somewhere else – especially a country considered ‘inferior’. To be fair though the media were even saying the Olympics in London were going to be a disaster, but soon changed their mind once they started and were a big success. Our media is just very cynical unfortunately.

  6. Andy,
    I sent an e-mail to the Reader Section of The Guardian too.
    See the copy on your Facebook’s mail.

  7. Oh well said, I’m getting pissy about this as well. To link the terrible rape in Rio to ‘what will happen at the world cup’ was a disgrace. Apparently all crime has completely stopped anywhere but in Brazil. We will have to tolerate such ignorance till after the Olympics I think.

  8. It’s refreshing to read bloggers with positive views about the World Cup, with their bullshitometer switched on when it comes to reading news about Brazil.
    I’ve just found your blog and am enjoying reading it! It’d be interesting to know if after all these months you had any sort of response on this matter.

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